Who owns big oil?

Across the oil and natural gas industry, 1.5 percent of the total outstanding shares of its public companies are owned by the officers and board members of those companies (“insiders”), compared to 29 percent owned by individual investors who manage their own holdings and who are not insiders, 42.7 percent owned or held by mutual funds and other asset management companies that have mutual funds, 18.1 percent owned or held by asset management companies that do not have mutual funds, and the remaining 8.7 percent owned or held and directly managed by pension funds, insurance companies, endowments and foundations, banks and other financial institutions:

Here is the full study (download PDF) (Robert J. Shapiro and Nam D. Pham)

Of course, you can always wonder who owns the asset management firms 🙂 🙂 🙂

Further reading and References:

Council of Institutional Investors, “Mutual Fund Assets By Type of Retirement Plan,”

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, “Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States,” First Quarter, 2007, www.federalreserve.gov/releases/z1/Current/z1.pdf

Chakravarty, Sugato and McConnell, John J., “Does Insider Trading Really Move Stock Prices?”, The Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis,. Vol. 34, No. 2, 1999.

Belkaoui, Ahmed and Pavlik, Ellen, “The Effects of Ownership Structure and Diversification Strategy on Performance,” Managerial and Decision Economics, Vol. 13, No. 4, 1992.

Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, “Private Pension Plan Bulletin Historical Tables,” March 2007,

Energy Information Administration, “World and U.S. Crude Oil Prices,” U.S. Department of Energy, http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pri_wco_k_w.htm.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, “Quarterly Banking Profile,” First Quarter 2007, www2.fdic.gov/qbp/2007mar/qbp.pdf.

Hotchkiss, Edith S. and Strickland, Deon, “Does Shareholder Composition Matter? Evidence from the Market Reaction to Corporate Earnings Announcements,” The Journal of Finance, Vol. 58, No. 4, 2003.

Investment Company Institute, Fact Book, 2007, “Assets of Mutual Funds Held in Individual and Institutional Accounts,” Table 45, www.ici.org/stats/mf/107fb_datasec_6.pdf.

Lowry, Michelle and Schent, G. William, “IPO Market Cycles: Bubbles or Sequential Learning?”, The Journal of Finance, Vol. 57, No. 3, June 2002.

Mascarenhas, Briance, “Domains of State-Owned, Privately Held, and Publicly Traded Firms in International Competition,” Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 4, 1989.

Pagano, Marco and Roell, Alisa, “The Choice of Stock Ownership Structure: Agency Costs, Monitoring and the Decision to Go Public,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 113, No. 1, 1998.

Parthiban, David, Kochhar, Rahul and Levitas, Edward, “The Effect of Institutional Investors on the Level and Mix of CEO Compensation,” The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 41, No. 2, 1998.

Parthiban, David, Hitt, Michael A., and Gimeno, Javier, “Influence of Activism by Institutional Investors on R&D,” The Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 40, No. 1, 2001.

Securities and Exchange Commission, Edgar Database.

Shapiro, Robert J. and Pham, Nam D., “The Economic Impact of a Windfall Profits Tax on Federal, State and Local Public Employee Pension Funds,” February 2006, www.sonecon.com.

“The Economic Impact of a Windfall Profits Tax on Savers and Shareholders,” November 2005, www.sonecon.com.

U.S. Census Bureau, “Federal State and Local Governments, 2005 State and Local Government Employee retirement Systems,” www.census.gov/govs/www/retire05view.html.

WorldScope Database.